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Over the Rocky Mountains Wandering Will in the Land of the Redskin   By: (1825-1894)

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Over the Rocky Mountains, by R.M. Ballantyne.

This is one of the short but interesting books that Ballantyne wrote with the less well off members of his readership in mind. All of these were of about 120 pages, and quite small books, that could be sold for only a shilling or two. The hero of many of them is a character called Will Osten, or Wandering Will. In this book he returns from a long trip away, during which his father had died, so his mother was very pleased to see him. But just before he died his father had been left a property in California it was the time of the Gold Rush. Will gathered some of his friends, and off they went to have a look at this property. So what the book is really about is the life of the miners in the Gold Rush.

Surprise, surprise! A young lady whom Will had met on one of his previous adventures appeared on the scene, on her way back to England. Will is determined to see more of her, but he has no money to pay the exorbitant sum demanded for his fare back to England, so he finds a very quick agent, who finds a very quick lawyer, so that his estate can be sold, and the money raised for the fare. He catches the boat by the skin of his teeth. Of course we will go with him on some more of his wanderings.



Note: Plan of this Miscellany.

There is a vast amount of interesting information, on almost all subjects, which many people, especially the young, cannot attain to because of the expense, and, in some instances, the rarity of the books in which it is contained.

To place some of this information, in an attractive form, within the reach of those who cannot afford to purchase expensive books, is the principal object of this Miscellany.

Truth is stranger than fiction, but fiction is a valuable assistant in the development of truth. Both, therefore, shall be used in these volumes. Care will be taken to insure, as far as is possible, that the facts stated shall be true, and that the impressions given shall be truthful.

As all classes, in every age, have proved that tales and stories, are the most popular style of literature, each volume of the series (with, perhaps, one or two exceptions) will contain a complete tale, the heroes and actors in which, together with the combination of circumstances in which they move, shall be more or less fictitious.

In writing these volumes, the author has earnestly endeavoured to keep in view the glory of God and the good of man.



It was late on a winter evening when our hero, William Osten, arrived in England, in company with his two friends and former messmates, Bunco and Larry O'Hale.

When a youth returns to his native land, after a long absence which commenced with his running away to sea, he may perhaps experience some anxieties on nearing the old home; but our hero was not thus troubled, because, his father having died during his absence, and his mother having always been tender hearted and forgiving, he felt sure of a warm reception.

Our hero was so anxious to see his mother, that he resolved to travel by the night coach to his native town of B , leaving his companions to follow by the mail in the morning. Railways, although in use throughout the country, had not at that time cut their way to the town of B . Travellers who undertook to visit that part of the land did so with feelings somewhat akin to those of discoverers about to set out on a distant voyage. They laid in a stock of provisions for the journey, and provided great supply of wraps for all weathers. When Will Osten reached the coach office, he found that all the inside places were taken.

"You'll have to go aloft, sir," said the coachman, a stout and somewhat facetiously inclined individual, who, observing something of the sailor in Will's costume and gait, suited his language to his supposed character; "there's only one berth left vacant, on the fogs'l 'longside o' myself... Continue reading book >>

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